Customers regularly ask whether we want to prepare their application landscape and databases for a migration to the cloud. A cloud migration, however, is a mean and not an goals in itself. There are plenty of companies that own IT infrastructure and manage it themselves. And in mine opinion, they are not lagging behind. Because it’s about what you do with data, not where you store it.
Illustratively, my experience during the last Cloud Expo last November. At the stand I was regularly addressed by IT managers who managed their infrastructure themselves and were looking for a cloud migration partner. Many of them said they had the feeling of lagging behind. They wanted to migrate to the cloud as quickly as possible, because their expectation was they would get the same scalability, speed and flexibility as their competitors.
Sometimes it indeed seems like companies are massively migrating to the cloud. A lot is being told and written about cloud computing and cloud migrations at conferences and in professional journals. And IT suppliers have meanwhile also developed cloud propositions to respond to this. However, I think that the majority of the companies that were at the Cloud Expo still manage and own their IT infrastructure.
The best way forward
In many cases, the cloud costs more than a proprietary on premise solution. When you compare the recurring costs for storage and computing capacity from the cloud to the one-off costs of purchasing and managing your own IT infrastructure, the cloud in many cases gets more expensive. Of course, there are interesting business cases with cloud technology, but often it involves the implementation of SaaS in support of one specific business process. A simple example, Salesforce can improve the sales process and AFAS the accounting online. But when it comes to pure storage of data at low cost, you can usually do the best with your own infrastructure.
Service and innovation
Often the cloud is chosen because one outsourced a difficult management task. Yet, it doesn’t automatically means that those cloud providers have to deliver a good service on the side. I think it is much more relevant how you are supported and by whom. So ask yourself the questions – Who are your partners? And what level of service do they offer? An IT partner can offer you just as much service as a cloud provider. It is just a case what you agree upon.
Even when it comes to innovation, relocating data and applications to the cloud is not necessarily the best way forward. Innovation is more a result of the smart collection, combining and analysis of business data. You can do that with data from cloud systems, but you can also use data on premise. Having access to and unlocking data is key, not the place where your data is stored.
Read this blog post in Dutch here.